Nov. 14, 2003
After a pair of 30-22 wins in games two and three, the Bulldogs had UW-Milwaukee down two games to one. But the defending Horizon League champions came storming back for a five-game, come-from-behind victory over the host Bulldogs Friday night. With the win, the Panthers improve to 23-4 and clinch the league regular season title with a 12-1 record, while the Bulldogs fall to 18-11 on the season. Junior Areal Bienemy led the Bulldogs with 18 kills.
Butler, which will host the tournament, is guaranteed the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye with their 8-5 league record. The Panthers' 12-1 league record assures that the defending tournament champions will enter next weekend's Horizon League Tournament as the No. 1 seed, automatically placing them in the semifinals.
The Bulldogs did a nice job containing the Panthers' dynamic duo of Sarah Potts and Karen Fruit throughout the match, but it was the play of senior Larissa Cattanach and reserve Rachel Kuebbing that proved the difference in the Panthers' 30-15, 22-30, 22-30, 30-23, 15-5 win.
Cattanach posted 14 kills on .448 hitting, while Kuebbing added 11 kills, including three in the deciding fifth game. Senior Lindsey Spoden had 53 assists, 16 digs and seven kills for the visitors. Potts registered a double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs, while Fruit had 12 kills and 17 digs. Potts hit .122 for the match, while Fruit swung at an .057 clip.
Bienemy led the Bulldogs with 18 kills and five blocks. Senior Amanda Matthews posted her 13th consecutive double-double with 51 assists and 14 digs. Megan Knightly's 21 digs led the Bulldogs, while junior Kali Carter's 14 kills and 15 digs were good for a double-double.
The Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 lead, as the Bulldogs could only muster one more kill (six) than service errors (five) in UW-Milwaukee's 30-15 opening win. The Bulldogs rallied, raising their hitting percentage from .031 to .250 in the second stanza. Matthews had 16 assists in the 30-22 Bulldog triumph.
A Candice Washington solo block pulled the Bulldogs out to a 16-7 lead in the third game and the Bulldogs never looked back, posting another 30-22 win. The Panthers hit just .094 in the third game, falling behind 2-1.
Cattanach posted five kills in the Panthers' 30-23 game four win. The Bulldogs committed 12 errors en route to .062 hitting for the game. That sent the match to a deciding fifth game.
The Panthers proved too much in the fifth game as they put up 10 kills against one error for .643 (10-1-14) hitting. Kuebbing had three kills in the 15-5 win.
The Bulldogs conclude their regular season Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. against UW-Green Bay. Seniors Halston Campagna and Matthews will be honored in pre-game ceremonies at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Hinkle Fieldhouse will play host to the Horizon League Tournament beginning Friday, Nov. 21. The Bulldogs, the No. 4 seed, will play Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the Wright State-Youngstown State first-round match.